What you need to know
- Google Maps now works with Surface Duo's dual screens.
- The latest update now lets Maps work around the hinge, adjusting maps and information across both displays.
- The update is rolling out now with Google Maps version 10.50.3.
Update: And for some reason, the optimization is now gone, making it sound like either some A/B testing or server-side tricks happening.
The Surface Duo's hinge is no longer a pain with Google Maps. Google is rolling out an update to Maps today with support for dual screens, allowing it to organize maps and information around the hinge between the displays. The update is available as Maps version 10.50.3.
Rather than spanning a map across both displays without regard for the hinge, cutting off vital information, Google Maps is now aware of the hinge's presence. This allows it to organize the map and any other information around the hinge without treating the displays as one large screen. You can see an example in the screenshot below.
You'll get side navigation for viewing information on businesses on the left side of Maps with the rest of the map split between the two displays. Importantly, if you find a location or tap the "center" button to locate yourself on the map, it doesn't center the map in the middle of the seam. Instead, it shifts the location to the right for visibility.
Microsoft's dual-screen concept is still relatively new to the Android ecosystem, so developers are just starting to add support for hinge awareness. For now, that means you'll see a lot of apps treat the two displays as one giant screen. For its part, Microsoft's Office suite and other apps have been designed to take advantage of this dual-screen setup, and it appears Google is ready to start tweaking its own apps, starting with one of its most essential.
For more apps optimized for Surface Duo, you can bookmark this page.
Double the fun
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You're going to want a case for the Surface Duo to keep it looking great
The options may be slim-pickings at the moment, but what can you really expect from a first-generation device like the Microsoft Surface Duo. This dual-screen wielding monster aims to make you more productive with a unique hinge system that we haven't seen elsewhere. But do yourself a favor, and get a case so that even a little bit of dust won't hinder your experience.